Hyderabad blasts: 16 killed, more than 100 injured in twin explosions

Hyderabad blast photo

The area is filled with people visiting the shops and food joints and those who come to pray at the popular Sai Baba temple about half a kilometre away, particularly on Thursday evenings.

A flower and vegetable market is also located near the bus stop and devotees buy offerings here before visiting the temple. This is the second time the area near the temple is being targeted. A blast just outside the temple on November 21, 2002 had injured scores of people.

The main suspect in that attack, Abdul Razak alias Masood, an alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba operative, committed suicide in his house in October alleging police harassment.

Dilsukhangar is home to lakhs of migrants from coastal Andhra districts and is a self-contained suburb of Hyderabad. It is also a hub of thousands of students studying in private colleges, computer institutes and coaching classes, and software professionals working in Hi-Tech City.

A team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the bomb squad of Hyderabad police found traces of ammonium nitrate at the site of the blasts. Ball bearings were also strewn all over the place, sources said.

State Intelligence Bureau officers said they had last Saturday received a vague terror alert about a possible attack in the city. "The note did not have any specific information but mentioned that Hyderabad, Bangalore, Hubli, Coimbatore and Maharashtra and Gujarat could be targets of terrorist attacks,'' one officer said.

The state police had also received threats of attacks after AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi was arrested for making incendiary speeches. Security was also stepped up following anonymous threats after the hanging of 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab, and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

DGP Reddy said that a team of the National Security Guard (NSG) and a NIA IG were being rushed by the Centre while a NSG team from the Hyderabad hub was at the spot. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy announced that the families of the dead would be paid Rs 6 lakh each.

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